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Cambridge, England trip report: We will be back!!!!

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Ahhh, writing this trip report makes me miss Cambridge horribly. It is such a wonderful city with so much to offer. It is touristy without being tacky. It is historic with modern offerings. And of course there is the River Cam, which offers another element of beauty and attraction. Of all the places I have traveled in England, Cambridge remains one of my most favorite spots, and it is unlikely to be replaced as such anytime soon.

The trip details:
My DH took a group of 23 college students to Cambridge England for about 4 weeks from July 15 until August 17th. This was our third time running the program and we brought along our sons, age 2 and 4. My mom also joined us to help with the kids (and facilitate our kid free getaway weekends to Berlin and Dublin). My dad joined us for the last week.

Sites and places visited:
Ely, Bury St. Edmunds, London, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Windsor Castle, Warwick Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Blenheim Palace, Tower of London, National Gallery….and a few more that I am sure I will remember as I continue my trip report.

We also were lucky enough to get two kid free weekends to travel. We went to Berlin (trip report link: http://tinyurl.com/zbkke ) and Dublin (TR link: http://tinyurl.com/eocyw) for two unforgettable, yet totally different adventures.

Where we stayed:
We rented a house just off of Hills Road on Cherry Hinton for 495 GBP per week. It was huge and amazing, and just a 25 minute walk to the center of Cambridge. We had 5 fireplaces and a separate laundry room (which is very uncommon in Europe). We also had an Indian Food restaurant next door, a pub on the corner (which was loud sometimes) and bakery two doors down. Budgeon’s grocery store was about 4 blocks away. The area really had all you could ask for in just a few steps.

The weather:
When we got there, it was in the 90s. When we left, it was in the 50s. It was strange to go through such extreme temperatures in such a short time. It was so hot when we got there I thought I brought too much. But then when we were freezing by week two I was glad for the jeans and long sleeved shirts we had packed. August weather in Cambridge turned out to be very unpredictable. Hot and dry then cold and rainy—but I guess pretty much what you expect from England!

Because we were there so long I am not really sure where to start….we had such an amazing time. Cambridge itself offers so much to see and do. What we love most is just being there---walking down Kings Parade, going to the market, or taking a tea at the Copper Kettle across from Kings’ College—whatever you do there just seems more fun because of the atmosphere. So before you read anymore you should be warned that I love Cambridge and I am probably biased in everything that I say.

My kids (especially my 4 year old) love Cambridge as well. This was his third time there, and believe it or not, he remembered just about everything. Plus, as a city, I feel like Cambridge has a lot to offer kids. The park we frequented was just off of Trumpington (accessed via Brooklands Avenue) and required us to walk through a field of free grazing cows. Yes, COWS. Of course my two boys loved that and named all 10 of them. You never really knew where they would be but they were always grazing somewhere. It was priceless. On the same walk to the park we would have to cross the River Cam, which is another delight for kids. There are always punters, ducks, swans or geese to provide entertainment.

If I was making a list of “must do and see” things in Cambridge I would have to start with The Orchard. To explain, the Orchard is exactly that—an apple orchard that accessed via Grantchester Meadows along the River Granta where time stands still. It was established in 1868 and was frequented by many influential poets, philosophers, scientists, and writers during most of the early 20th century. Rupert Brooke wrote one of his best-known poems “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester” about the Orchard. Other famous writers and poets such as Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein were frequent visitors during their times. The Orchard has not changed one bit in its 100+ years of operation—it is like walking back in time. When you look at the pictures of the famous people that were once there (it has a little museum) you feel like you might just seem them around the corner. Even the high back chairs are the same style as the chairs that were used when the orchard originally opened.

On one hot and sunny day we walked there. It was probably about 2.5 miles from where we stayed—not bad at all! And such a pleasant walk as well, going through vast fields next to the river. We passed cows and enjoyed the beautiful countryside. On the way back you get a fabulous view of the top of Kings College from a distance. We ordered a Ploughman’s lunch, which was delicious. It had the best assortment of fresh cheeses and relishes. And then we just relaxed while the kids played in the fields. It was just magical---even though this was my third time there. I had to pry my mom up from a chair when it was time to leave…she did not want to go!

Another must see thing to do in Cambridge has to be climbing the tower at St. Mary’s church, on the corner across the street from Kings College. I can’t believe I didn’t do this the first time I was there. But for just 2 GBP you can walk up the tower and see Cambridge from up high, and it is simply breathtaking. We saw the courtyard of Kings College, the market, Trinity College, Kings Parade…I am adding this to a must see list for all subsequent trips.

Cambridge has so much to offer with its many museums and amazing colleges. The Fitzwilliam Museum compares, in my opinion, to great museums such as the Louvre (except on a much smaller scale, of course). The Wren Library is also a must see museum (which can be visited only a few hours each day). This is where I first saw Queen Elizabeth’s (the first) handwriting. You can also see the original Winnie the Pooh sketches (random) and a few other gems. After seeing the library at Trinity College in Dublin (which houses the Book of Kells) I have to say that Trinity College Cambridge tops it by FAR. Not only is the Trinity College in Cambridge prettier and older with more significant scholars (Isaac Newton, for example) but it also has a much better library. Aside from The Book of Kells there is not much to see there. (I know I could be executed for saying this…!)

Speaking of colleges…. I love just visiting any of the 30+ colleges in Cambridge. My favorites are Kings’ College and Trinity. Last summer we saw Evensong at Kings’ College by the famous boys choir—it was amazing. This summer we missed it by two weeks and were sorely disappointed. I also like Corpus Christi and Emmanuelle College. My husband taught the first two years at Hughes Hall, which was a little modern compared to other colleges with just one old building. This year he taught at Homerton College, one of the newest colleges. Although it was new it had tons of old world charm and had really cute buildings. It was located just outside of town off Hills Road.

If you go to Cambridge, you must try punting, at least once—then you can hire someone else to do it for you, lol. Seriously, it is much harder than it looks. DH, who is normally an athletic guy, had a really tough time. I don’t know what to make of the fact that I did it much better than he did. Anyway, we had our punting boat for an hour and that was more than enough. We got nervous that we would make it back in time! But I must say punting enables you to get the greatest views of some of the colleges. You can’t see some of them any other way. Kids will also like punting, there is so much action on the river and you can feed the ducks, swans, etc. Our kids particularly loved it when we crashed into the walls, lol. I will say, however, the next time we do it we will probably have someone do it for us while we relax. We were planning to the Thai dinner cruise but it ended up raining on the night we had it scheduled. Next time!

Cambridge’s market is also one of the things I love most about the city. Even after three summers it did not lose its appeal. Almost every day we went for fresh fruits, vegetables and breads. You can even buy some souvenirs there (t-shirts etc.) for a much cheaper price. When the kids were being exceptionally cute and good we would visit the candy stand and get some of the most delicious candies. We loved to just walk around the market and shops—every day we found a new discovery.

In the summer, the Cambridge Shakespeare festival affords you the opportunity to see a top notch play at one of the colleges (usually). We saw Much Ado about Nothing at St. Mary’s College, it was fabulous!!! And by the way, they are very affordable. You can buy tickets in centre city at the Corn Exchange. We also saw a play at Trinity College that was held outdoors. For me, just being inside one of the colleges during a hot summer night is in itself a treat. Who cared about the play! But seriously, I do remember it was bring your own wine, which may be one reason why I can’t remember the evening exactly.

Eating in Cambridge is a delight. There are so many restaurants to choose from! I have no had one bad meal there, honestly. The Indian food is out of this world. We have tried about a dozen Indian Food restaurants on St. Andrews and Hills Roads and there is not one that I would not recommend. (Well, Tandori Station on St. Andrews is not that great actually, but we tried them in 2005 when they had just opened and never went back.)

We love Brown’s on Trumpington for its traditional English fare. The steak pie is to die for with a nice flaky crust. My DH raves about the fish pie. All desserts are fabulous, especially the bread pudding. It is also very kid friendly, which we obviously appreciated.

The pub next to the Flying Pig on St. Andrews serves Thai Take-Away. I know that sounds random, but it is some of the best Thai I have ever had.

As for pubs…there are too many to list, and we frequented a number of them. (THANKS MOM for babysitting!) The Flying Pig, The Earl of Derby, The Avery, and The Globe are a few of our favorites. We also go to The Eagle at least once every summer—it’s touristy but really neat. You can see up on the top the boarding rooms where people used to stay a hundred years ago or so.

More later…I have some trip reports on our days out in Bury St. Edmunds and Ely coming up. And I have a feeling the more I write the more boring it gets, so I should take a break.

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    No, StephCar, not boring at all. It's great to read - your enthusiasm really shines through. I like the way you have adult AND child recommendations. And when you describe what you did with your children, it reminds me so much of when mine were small. My last just headed off to university 2 weeks ago; I haven't cried yet, but your report has brought me close! And, now I want to see Cambridge, and am looking forward to your day trip comments.

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    I'm loving this!!!! So often all we get is London and a sort quickie run through IF the post happens to go out of London. I've been to London three times and when I go again I am looking for an additional place to go for a couple of nights just to broaden my horizons, so to speak. So this is good and I'm really enjoying it.

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    I love your report, too! When DH was stationed TDY at Lakenheath we visited Cambridge a few times and absolutely fell in love with it as well as some of the other places you mention. Glad you enjoyed a wonderful trip.

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    noe847, I honestly can't even fathom my kids going to university yet, but when it happens, I think what I will remember most are the summers we have spent in Cambridge. We had a magical summer this year in particular, and I know that as they get older there will be less time for mommy and all of us being together. I can't believe you haven't cried yet--I am on the verge just thinking about it. But then again I haven't gone through the teen years that make you actually want them to leave, lol.

    Thanks for all the nice comments. crefloors, if you are looking for something besides London then Cambridge is perfect. It is big without feeling big, know what I mean? It oozes charm and history but is not as touristy as say Stratford.

    I will get to my day trips to Bury St. Edmunds (AWESOME trip!!!) and Ely in the next few days. Thanks again. Maybe I will actually finish this!



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    StephCar, thanks for your post. It makes me long to be back in Cambridge. DH and I spent two summers taking graduate courses there and it cemented our love for England and introduced us to the joys of staying in one place long enough to get around without a map. We lived at Wesley House where our classes were conducted. Friends lived at Wescott and Trinity. One actually had Prince Charles's old room.
    Since our retirement, we tend to make London our vacation headquarters, but we always take at least a day up to Cambridge to visit the market and freshen our t-shirt collection.
    If you haven't been out to the American Cemetery at Madingley, make it a point to visit on your next trip. The experience is amazing.
    And tell me, does the shop across from the market still sell wonderful lemon ice? We used to stop there after attending concerts or plays in the evening? My mouth still waters for it on hot summer nights.

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    This has been a pleasure for me to read! I spent one day in Cambridge some years ago, and this makes me want to return. Much like you, it seems, I appreciate life's simple pleasures: a ploughman's lunch, an orchard, a meadow filled with cows... Thank you!

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    Some 20 some years ago I attended the University's International Summer School. It was a wonderful experience. Our classes were mainly in the mornings which left us time to explore. Every a.m. before classes there was an interesting speaker in the assembly hall. At night there were sometimes programs or films. We ate breakfast and dinner in an old college dining hall [St. Catherine's] and stayed in a very nice apt/dorm. You don't have to take the courses for actual credit, which leaves you more free time. We went on several field trips to stately homes, Bath, even London. A great way to feel like a Cambridge student, if only for a month and not terribly expensive.

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    StephCar,

    Keep up this wonderful report. I am loving it as it takes me back nearly thirty years to my first visit to Cambridge. I loved Queens College. I remember walking down a path towards the river and seeing a small sign that the college gardens were open for visits one afternoon a week from 2-4 and it was the afternoon. It was a sort of drizzly off and on sort of day and I was almost the only visitor. One of the attendants saw me taking pictures and came over for a chat and showed me some hidden gems. It was like a private tour.

    I am remembering going up in St. Mary's tower and looking down at the colorful awnings of the market. I think I remember a round church on Trumpington St. as well.

    I agree with previous poster that the American cemetery is an awesome experience. And I mean awe as in the old fashioned use of the word.

    I was back more recently with my father, who flew bombers out of Molesworth during WW II. We went to visit his old base and a young American service man took us around and asked my father lots of questions about his was experience. Dad told stories that I had never heard and he hasn't told since. Then we went to nearby Duxworth to the Air Museum which has one hangar devoted to American planes. I found that very moving as well when I realized how truly flimsy those planes were and read again the survival statistics on the fliers.

    Sorry for getting off the track, because I want to hear more details of your visit to this special corner of England. (And aren't they all special?)

    An Anglophile

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    To answer you, StephCar, we've been blessed with really good kids. So much so, that I started to wonder how I was going to be able to see my oldest go.

    Well, the second half of her last school year at home, her attitude took a turn for the surly. When she went away, I cried hard. I think I was grieving for the relationship - I thought I'd lost her. After 2 years (last Christmas), we had the most amazing talk - 4 hours about life, love, hopes, dreams. Tears for both of us, but she cried the hardest. We are now on good footing. In fact, today I purchased our tickets to go together to London for her spring break (great Delta fare sale).

    I honestly think that I feel so good with this second daughter leaving because we parted on such good footing. Plus, we did some crying together while we were packing her up.

    I'm finding that I don't so much miss my girls as they are now at 18 and 20. What I really miss is being their parent when they were 2 and 4, or 3 and 5. Loved those toddler/preschool ages! You really will treasure your memories of the amazing summers you spent with your little ones.

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    vcl and teacher33, thanks for reminding me. Yes, the American Cemetery at Madingley is a must see place in Cambridge. I discovered the Cemetery on one of those Hop On/Hop Off bus tours. I know those buses are touristy to say the least, but they are a great way to get the layout of a city and see a few things you may otherwise not see. In the past years, anytime we had a new visitor we would take them on a Hop On/Off bus tour on one of their first days. It is a great thing to do when you are suffering from jet lag and the bus in Cambridge really does cover a lot of territory.

    The American Cemetery at Madingley is slightly out of town but easy to access by bus. It is really moving, and one of those things that you see and think “wow, this city has a lot to see and do!” I didn’t expect to see anything like this in Cambridge, at first anyway. By my third time there I was wise enough to know I could go back EVERY summer and still find new things. My dad really liked the Cemetery as well and spent several hours there.

    If you are looking for a picnic spot in Cambridge, I highly recommend Jesus Green. I don’t know why I love it there but I do. It is just a vast space next to the river and it is always full of people and kids during the summer. There is great people watching and a park nearby that actually has a little train in it. (And a mock train station, where I spent endless hours waiting for pretend trains with my boys!) After lunch you can walk along the river and grab a coffee at a number of the little café’s that overlook the river. There are a lot of barges at this end as well, some that people live on too! We crossed the bridges several times with the kids just observing people, punters and tons of ducks.

    The Botanic Gardens is also a great picnic spot. It is wonderfully organized and labeled. The rose garden is so fragrant—it is really wonderful. The kids love it there as well (tons of fountains and things for them to explore, touch and smell) and it is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. I was surprised that they actually encourage people to picnic there—I felt like I was doing something wrong at first. It is easier to access the gardens via Trumpington, about ½ mile outside of the city. And it was less than 5 GBP for admission (can’t remember exactly) with kids 5 and under free.

    Since I am on the topic of picnics, this gives me the opportunity to rave about Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s. Both of these grocery stores are located near the market in Cambridge and both have great options for take-away picnic food. You can even get complimentary plastic spoons and napkins on your way out. I was constantly amazed at the freshness and quality of the foods at these stores. I actually looked forward to grocery shopping if you can imagine that! The foods there have less artificial ingredients and preservatives than the foods we find in the states. My mom, who is allergic to a lot of hydrogenated oils (which is so common in the US, in breads, cookies, cakes) had no trouble eating over in Cambridge. In fact, she found for the first time she was able to eat goodies unabashed because of the lack of processed oils and fats. It was great! We would grab fresh salads, sandwiches, waters, etc. and head out to any of the great picnic areas I already mentioned. I could go on and on about the food there—I really have no idea why England gets such a bad rap when it comes to food.

    Despite the fact that we ate like kings and queens over there, almost everyone in my family lost quite a bit of weight. I find it somewhat interesting, but then when I think about it it makes sense. Healthy food and a healthy lifestyle really are conducive to weight loss, right? I estimated that we walked about 4 miles on average a day. If we walked to town (1 mile) and back two times a day that added up to about 4 miles for the day, which was not unusual. If my DH and I ended up going out we would walk about 6 miles on that day. I am an avid jogger at home, but did not run over there once—I was too tired from all the walking. And despite eating chocolate mousse (from M&S) every night I too lost a few pounds. Not a bad deal!

    There is a brochure called "12 Things to Do and See Around Cambridge" that is available through Cambridge’s tourist office (located in Centre City). I am so bummed I can’t find my copy, because it is a really helpful thing to pick up when you get there, and we have done all but three of the things that are listed. Some things they suggest are not really out of town (like the Fitzwilliam Museum and Botanic Gardens) but there are a few things outside that I would not have thought to visit. Audley End is one place that comes to mind that is on the brochure and was a great day out! (I will get to it later) We did everything that you could get to by bus or train. We did not get to the ones that required a car (a Norman Castle, for example) that sounded pretty cool.

    If I had to rate my personal great days out from Cambridge I would start with Bury St. Edmunds. I have no idea why, but it is not listed in the tourist office brochure. We picked this city simply because it sounded sorta cool from the one paragraph in our Fodor’s book and because it was a 30 minute train ride. Other than that I knew nothing about Bury St. Edmunds. (DH and I are pretty much the type that like to show up at a place and discover it by ourselves, which is exactly what we did.) The kids, of course, were with us for this day trip. Anytime we told them we were getting on a train they were super excited. (By the way, for those that have kids it is good to know that kids ride free on the train until they are five.)

    Bury St. Edmunds
    For just 7 GBP and 30 minutes on the train you can visit the city of Bury St. Edmunds. For nearly 600 years Bury St. Edmunds has been roughly the same shape and size as it is now, and you sense that when you are there. My first thought when we got there was “oh shoot, a half a day is not going to be enough!” We were able to stay a bit longer than planned but had dinner obligations so really couldn’t spend the whole day.

    When we walked the five minutes from the train station to centre city I had the sense that I was actually in a real English town. It was not touristy at all—no postcards on the sidewalk, no people dressed up in period costumes trying to get your attention—it just seemed like a small English village that was going about its business. I am sure we stuck out like sore thumbs because as far as I could tell, we were the only tourists around. The city was so charming. First, there was not a piece of trash anywhere to be found, which impressed me immediately. Second, the buildings were so old—you could just tell. I later learned that the oldest house in Great Britain is in fact located in Bury St. Edmunds. It is now the museum that is located in the middle of the town square. There is also a big pedestrian/walking area with cobbled streets. As someone who is usually pushing a stroller I really appreciated that as well, lol.

    We stopped to get some breakfast and my DH was craving a samosa and asked if they had any at this tiny bakery. They didn’t, but were so pleased to accommodate us that the owner went through a list of possible bakeries in the vicinity where we might find a somosa. It was really sweet. I later found out that Bury St. Edmunds prides itself on its friendliness. It was pretty obvious too, so many people we talked to that day went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating. A priest at St. Mary’s Church, for example, went out of his way to show my kids some unique things while we were there (like a carved angel in the ceiling that lost her hand). And by the way, this priest was getting ready for a funeral that would take place in 20 minutes, but insisted that we stop and visit. It was really something special.

    So, not only is Bury St. Edmunds home to the smallest pub in Great Britain (The Nutshell) but you can also tour the famous Greene King brewery. And if it is history that appeals to you, the Abbey gardens and ruins are spectacular (and like none I have visited—except for maybe Fountains Abbey in York.)

    The Abbey was built in the 12th century then was destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII. Many of the ruins are standing in a way that enables you to envision what the Abbey looked like so long ago. I was surprised that you could walk freely through so much of what used to the Abbey. It was the perfect place to picnic too, not only were there tables but a great kiddie park literally next to the ruins. The actual gardens were well kept and stunning. Also, just outside out the Abbey (when you walk in) you can still see one of the original Norman towers. We honestly could not believe our luck on stumbling into such a great little town. And this was our first stop!

    St. Mary’s Church (built in the 11th century) houses the grave of Mary of Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister who died in 1533. Since I am somewhat infatuated with Henry VIII I was excited to stop by this church. And by the way, this is where the nice priest gave us basically a private tour and went out of his way to make it interesting for our kids.

    Of equal impressiveness is the Cathedral Church of St. James, which is just around the corner from St. Mary’s. It was originally part of the complex of the great Abbey of St. Edmund. The nave is spectacular, and I was not surprised to learn that it was built by John Wastell, the great Tudor architect whose works included Kings’ College in Cambridge and Canterbury Cathedral. The rebuild began in 1503 and took about 50 years to complete. It is really inspiring. There is a picture in the corner that enables you to see how the church fit into the Abbey and what the area around the Abbey looked like before it was destroyed.

    After visiting the churches we went on a short tour of the Greene King brewery. Again, I could not believe how nice everyone was—they offered a smaller private tour as well since our train prohibited us from getting the full tour later in the afternoon. Even the kids liked the museum because there were lots of things to touch and feel and several exhibits that light up. We could have spent more time there and wanted to actually purchase some fresh Old Speckled Hen beer but since we were leaving in 3 days we didn’t. If there had not been the liquid restriction on the planes we would have brought something home with us!

    We stopped by the smallest pub (The Nutshell)—we just had to have a pint simply because it is in fact the smallest pub in Great Britain. It was so small that it could not accommodate our family of 4, so we sipped outside like everyone else. So funny, and a great photo too!!!

    My only regret of our visit to Bury St. Edmunds was that we did not stay longer. We had planned to spend only a morning there but wished we had instead slotted the whole day. There was a museum there which we were told was a must see (located in the town square) that we did not have time to visit. Next time!

    Audley End
    Audley End is another favorite day trip. It is just one stop from Cambridge on the train and less than 7 GBP per person, roundtrip. Here you can tour a wonderful castle and relax in amazing gardens. It is a great way to spend either a morning or an afternoon, and it is listed on the "Great Things to Do" brochure from the Cambridge tourist office. I suggest you buy food before you go from the M&S at the train station or pack your own lunch. There is no place to grab any food at Audley End. There is a cafeteria there though that looked okay but was terribly overpriced. I just remember thinking how glad I was to have brought a picnic so we could eat outside in the gardens.

    When we arrived at the Audley End station, we were pointed in the right direction to walk and just walked to the castle. There is a little footpath located on a somewhat busy street that you walk on for about a mile. It is not a great path for strollers though—but you can take a taxi as well for less than 4 GBP. Also, since Audley End accepts the GBHP it is a really cheap outing.

    Audley End house has a fascinating history, so I attached a link below for reference. Of course I was enthralled to learn (by total chance) that there was a connection with the house to Henry VIII. Although it was originally a monastery, Henry VIII gave it to Sir Thomas Audley in 1538 and it was converted to a mansion. Audley End House follows a story that is nothing less than a soap opera that includes embezzlement and ends in the Tower of London. What actually remains of Audley End is much less than was initially built simply because it fell into ruins, literally, and parts had to be demolished. However, what remains today is impressive, and it is hard to imagine that it was even bigger than it currently is. It reminded me of some of the little chateaux’s in the Loire Valley which are actually grand castles with impressive gardens. There is also a nice collection of portraits and furniture in the Audley End House. And since you are required to take a guided tour you actually learn a lot about the palace. If you want to read more on Audley End House here is a link: http://tinyurl.com/zeqtg

    Ely
    Less than 25 minutes by train is the cute and picturesque town of Ely. The main attraction in Ely is its enormous cathedral. It was founded as a monastery in 673, destroyed by the Danes in 870, then re-founded as a Benedictine community in 970. And it is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. You can see it from the train as you approach the station, and its gigantic presence is fully realized when you stand in front of it. Translation: IT IS HUGE!!! And it is also beautiful.

    We also visited the Oliver Cromwell House in Ely, which was a little cheesy but pretty informative. I had no idea that Oliver Cromwell had lived in Ely. The house was a little similar to the Shakespeare houses in Stratford—it is amazing how so many people lived in such a house. There is one spooky room that talks about how he died and is said to be haunted.

    Walking around Ely is fun too, although it is pretty small. I have been there three times now but still enjoy walking the little streets. And I never get sick of the Cathedral. I have pictures of my kids running around the Cathedral and they look like ants compared to the awesomeness of the Cathedral. It is cool.

    So again I must stop…hope everyone is still enjoying. I am running out of things to report!!! I am not going to go into the other day trips to the well-visited places (Hampton, Windsor, etc.) since that is so well covered, but as I think of more, I will write!

    Cimbrone, daph, teacher33 and vcl, I am so glad I could bring back so many memories. vcl, I have no idea about the lemon ice shop—where exactly was it located from the market?

    noe847, your last post made me cry. Thanks for reminding me that these years are special and will go by all too fast.

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    StephCar:

    I want to go back to school. You brought back so many more memories. A visit to Saffron Walden and Audley End was one of the programs included in our summer session one year. We walked from Saffron Walden to Audley End with one of our professors. It was almost as memorable a trek as the walk to Granchester. Our program included tea in the cafeteria and I must say they made the best raspberry jam I have ever tasted. For the sake of those who have to pay the inflated prices, I hope it's still as good.
    I share your delight in Sainsbury's and M&S. In addition to great food, they sell wonderful pantyhose. I stock up every time I go back.

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    vcl, Saffron Walden is one of the places on that "Must See Do Cambridge" brochure that I have not visited. I had no idea it was walking distance to Audley End. We will have to do that next time, it sounds fabulous.

    And BTW, we had several non-traditional students on this trip, one that was a senior citizen, one that had 4 kids, and one that was pregnant. It was a great. Who knows what your local college is offering next summer.

    My DH hopes to run the program in 2008 again, but has to take next summer off due to a sabbitical leave. I was so sad when I realized I would not be in Cambridge next year. Hence the effort in the trip report.

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    Wow! StephCar, I can't believe I missed this report. I have to go back and read it all - wonderful! We must have been in Cambridge at the same time as you, lol. My BIL treated us to an Indian food feast (take out). I'll have to ask him the name of the restaurant.

    Thanks!

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    seetheworld--I had no idea you were in Cambridge over the summer too--small world! I miss the Indian food there so bad...we don't get a lot of it here in WI. (sob, sigh). We signed up officially to go back in 2008--I am already looking forward to it! How lucky to have family there!

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    I'm glad you enjoyed it, and this is only a minor tease, but unless they've got some new and surprising sponsorhsip since I was there, I don't think it's Emmanuelle College. Though I don't doubt there are plenty of undergraduates who wish it were!

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    PatrickLondon--good lord what a typo. My gosh I am more than embarassed. Well that seals it, my DH is not allowed to read my trip report. The teasing would be unbearable. Thanks for saving me from even further humiliation.

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    StephCar:

    Very nicely done - agree the hop off and on bus in well worth doing for the first time visitor and if you arrive by train can be picked up right outside the station.

    Ely cathedral can easily take up a full day - a must do if you are in the area. Half day will work for Bury St. Edmunds.

    I grew up in Suffolk so indeed it was a pleasure to read your report and wanted to thank you. Unsure how I missed it when you posted. May have been back home on one of my visits.

    Sandy

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